Dry Fire .45ACP

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Post by Bestdentist99 on 1/26/2020, 11:18 am

Is it OK to dry fire a .45 by pulling the hammer back without racking the slide? At a course given by Brian Zins he forbade anyone doing that to his gun. I know that was taught by the Marines back in the day. Is that still valid?

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Post by -TT- on 1/26/2020, 11:26 am

Because the disconnector isn't holding the sear off the hammer, it causes additional sliding wear to cock in this way. In a match gun, it's generally a bad idea because it undoes all that careful work, over time.

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Post by Outthere on 1/26/2020, 11:36 am

I was taught to pull the trigger, hold it, then retract the slide to the rear.
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Post by Merick on 1/26/2020, 12:41 pm

How is the sear held off the hammer during cycling? Doesn't the disconnector disconnect and drop the sear as soon as the slide starts recoil?

I think this is a wives tale.  Zinns (and the USMC) probably doesn't want anyone fumbling the hammer and crashing his sear into the half cock / saftey notch and this is a nice way to say so and make sure it doesn't happen.

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Post by weber1b on 1/26/2020, 8:58 pm

With the battleaxe hammer I have from KC, I can't thumb the trigger back. I always racked the slide anyway. When the likes of Zins and KC tell me not to do it, I believe them.

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Post by Vociferous on 1/27/2020, 4:32 am

If you have a frame mounted dot, its a real pain to constantly rack the slide. I cocked the hammer for over 8 years, dry firing most mornings, with no real issues. I did eventually replace the trigger, but after all that time, I would have replaced it anyway. That said, I did convert my two Les Baer frame mounts to slide mounts, and now rack the slide.
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Post by Ed Hall on 1/27/2020, 9:46 am

This crops up from time to time.  Basically, if you release the trigger OR cycle the slide, the sear will ride over the half cock.  It's how the gun operates.  However, if you drop the hammer and still hold the trigger, you can pull the hammer back, release the trigger and it will set on the full cock hooks.  It is quite possible that this may have a different feel than cycling the slide.

For those who may think the sear doesn't get near the half cock shelf/hook if you cycle the slide, try the following:

--Drop the hammer.
--Hold the trigger back.
--Move the slide back just enough that the hammer is past half cock, but not to full cock.
--Release the slide.
--Where is the hammer?  It's sitting on the half cock shelf/hook.

Now, here's my suggestion:

Dry fire!  Use whatever method gets you to dry fire.  Don't worry about wear.  If it wears, get it reworked and try to wear it out again.

(Let the flames ignite!!)

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Post by weber1b on 1/27/2020, 9:52 am

Ed Hall wrote:Dry fire!  Use whatever method gets you to dry fire.  Don't worry about wear.  If it wears, get it reworked and try to wear it out again.
Excellent point. I would hazard a guess that most of us, including me, do not do this nearly enough.

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Post by Slartybartfast on 1/28/2020, 9:13 am

Ed Hall wrote:This crops up from time to time.  Basically, if you release the trigger OR cycle the slide, the sear will ride over the half cock.  It's how the gun operates.
Last time this came up, I argued with one of the gunsmiths on here about this exact same issue.
It's insane what wives tales people will believe and vehemently defend when a simple look at an animation shows that the myth is clearly a myth.
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Post by Ed Hall on 1/28/2020, 9:28 am

Slartybartfast wrote:Last time this came up, I argued with one of the gunsmiths on here about this exact same issue.
It's insane what wives tales people will believe and vehemently defend when a simple look at an animation shows that the myth is clearly a myth.
But one must be wary of animations, too.  I've seen more than one showing the sear being magically held off the hammer through the cycling, even though the disconnector had moved from under the sear feet.  The animations can allow for all kinds of "magic."  I've even seen 1911 disassembly animations do things real ones are physically incapable of.  Think of how easy it is to show the thumb safety pin being used to push the mainspring housing pin out of the frame and then think about how the slide stop pin diameter is larger than the mainspring housing pin hole.

Animations are great, if they are accurate, but who's to determine the accuracy.  One should check these concepts and experience them for themselves.

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Post by Slartybartfast on 1/28/2020, 9:53 am

Ed Hall wrote:

Animations are great, if they are accurate, but who's to determine the accuracy.  One should check these concepts and experience them for themselves.
Absolutely.
Much of the argument was me asking what was wrong with the animation and being told that I was being impertinent to dare question expertise in reply.
I had gone over the operation step-by-step many times based on my understanding of the parts and found the animation matched. The disconnector disconnects the trigger from sear, it does not disconnect the sear from the hammer.
This guys work is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/user/ehochzwei/videos
Or specifically for the 1911 disconnector: https://youtu.be/EjQrhDKDWFk?t=280


Last edited by Slartybartfast on 1/28/2020, 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed link)
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Post by javaduke on 1/28/2020, 10:03 am

Like many others, I was taught to always hold the trigger back and rack the slide, then release the trigger. To me it makes sense simply because it mimics the live fire operation as closely as possible. I modified an old magazine so that it doesn't engage the slide stop and I insert it into the gun when I dry fire. This way I simply get used to the trigger feel, knowing it will feel the same or almost the same when I live fire.

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Post by dronning on 1/28/2020, 10:27 am

Just me but I chose to replicate what actually happens during live fire.  No uneven side pressure if I don't pull the hammer straight back, because all fire control parts are doing what they are meant to do.
- Dave
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Post by Ed Hall on 1/28/2020, 10:48 am

The reason for holding the trigger back on a match built .45 is not to keep the sear off the hammer during the cycling of the slide.  The reason for holding the trigger is to prevent bounce due to trigger inertia.  When the slide slams forward, if the trigger is free floating, it can trip the release of the hammer, if the sear/hammer hooks engagement is minimal.  This will result in the hammer falling to half-cock.  If this occurs, damage can result in the form of sear tip damage, half-cock damage or even breakage.  I have seen many modified half-cocks broken off hammers.  I've also seen broken sears, but more rarely.

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Post by Aprilian on 1/28/2020, 11:44 am

I recently learned that EGW hammers place the half cock ledge in the middle of the sear so that it wears a different spot than do the hammer hooks.   I have one on order to play with.

As Jon rebarreled my pistol and it is very tight, I hold the trigger to the rear and thumb the hammer.   Any mistakes I am making in dry fire are NOT related to the disconnector not resetting as it would in live fire.
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Post by rreid on 1/28/2020, 7:56 pm

Ed Hall wrote:This crops up from time to time.  Basically, if you release the trigger OR cycle the slide, the sear will ride over the half cock.  It's how the gun operates.  However, if you drop the hammer and still hold the trigger, you can pull the hammer back, release the trigger and it will set on the full cock hooks.  It is quite possible that this may have a different feel than cycling the slide.

For those who may think the sear doesn't get near the half cock shelf/hook if you cycle the slide, try the following:

--Drop the hammer.
--Hold the trigger back.
--Move the slide back just enough that the hammer is past half cock, but not to full cock.
--Release the slide.
--Where is the hammer?  It's sitting on the half cock shelf/hook.

Now, here's my suggestion:

Dry fire!  Use whatever method gets you to dry fire.  Don't worry about wear.  If it wears, get it reworked and try to wear it out again.

(Let the flames ignite!!)
Thank you, Ed. 

Here's another suggestion for those who say the sear is held away from the hammer if you rack the slide a certain way. Remove the thumb safety and grip safety from your 1911. Now you can see the interaction of the disconnector and sear. Try racking the slide, with and without the trigger pulled. Thumb the hammer. Report what you see.
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